BGSU Baseball 2023 Season Preview: Falcons look to take next step in Hallock tenure

Reese Lannon, Sports Reporter, FMSN

The Bowling Green baseball program has been through the ringer the last few years.

From a program that had struggled for several years to find its footing and vision, to a program cut during the COVID-19 pandemic (and then being brought back weeks later), it was certainly not the ideal set of circumstances for the program to deal with. 

But now, third-year head coach Kyle Hallock has helped give a program something they desperately needed.

Some real hope. 

After a tough 2021 season, the team’s first after being brought back from a program cut, the Falcons struggled mightily out of the gate in 2022, winning just two of their first 17 games.

The team looked disheartened, and injuries racking up quickly certainly did not help things. 

They finally started to figure it out, as the Falcons went on a nice run as the cold turned into spring weather.

They defeated their first power-five opponent since 2014 against Michigan State in late March while picking up series wins against both Akron and Western Michigan. 

But the biggest series for the team was against Toledo, their bitter rivals who were enjoying some remarkable success in 2022, emerging as one of the best teams in the Mid American-Conference.

But BGSU won three out of five games against the Rockets in early May, giving the team a solid building block and sense of confidence that they could compete at the top. 

As the page turns towards 2023, the silver lining to those struggles in 2022 was that several young pieces got a chance to play every day, and it could perhaps pay big dividends this spring. 

Outfielder Nathan Archer broke out of the scene as a true freshman. The sophomore, who was recently considered the MAC’s best outfield prospect, gave the lineup a huge boost. He hit .317 and slugged .567, both marks near the top of the conference while hitting eight home runs, 11 doubles, knocking in 34 runs and stealing 20 bases. 

Catcher Kyle Gurney became perhaps one of the MAC’s best catchers, slashing .330/.424/.542 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. 

Outfielders Adam Fallon (.325 average, 21 steals) and Jack Krause (.273 average, nine home runs, 13 steals), helped BGSU become the MAC’s leader in steals while getting on-base at a high clip.

For the Falcons to have success in 2023, look for them to run at will on the bases. 

The pitching side of things was a struggle. The staff’s total ERA of 8.99 represented the worst mark in the conference. The positive is that there were several injuries to the staff in 2022, and getting back the best overall pitcher on their staff in 2021 in junior left-handed pitcher Rigo Ramos, as well as others, should provide a big boost. 

Senior Gage Schenk is back for a fifth-year, and he was the most dependable starter last spring for the Orange and Brown. Across 14 starts he compiled a 5.63 ERA and 59 strikeouts, with his best performance coming in the form of a four-hit shutout in a win over Western Michigan. 

It has been a long time since Bowling Green baseball has reached the mountaintop of the MAC. 2013 represents the last time BG made the NCAA tournament, and going even further back, the program’s last winning season was in 2010. 

A 18-34 overall record (14-24 MAC) in 2022 with a ninth-place finish in the conference will temper expectations for most, but BGSU was still able to compete with several teams at the top of the standings, including the series win over Toledo, and splitting series with both Ohio (fourth place) and Kent State (fifth place). 

The team will open up their season on the road on Friday, Feb. 17 against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles for a three-game series.

For more information, visit the athletics webpage